January 22 Energy News

January 22, 2020


¶ “Agrovoltaics Could Help Calm Fears About Renewables For Iowa Farmers” • Iowa utility companies want to install more solar power, and they insist that prime farm land will not be used. Farmers are afraid of that, but they should see the advantages of getting paid for land that is not used. And they should take a look at agrovoltaics. [CleanTechnica]

Tomatoes growing under PVs (Asurnipal, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “On Climate, Trump Is Guilty Of Willful Ignorance” • The Trump administration’s studied avoidance of the threat from climate change smacks of willful blindness or worse. The Federal Emergency Management Administration’s recently released National Preparedness Report is its latest affront. It fails even to mention of climate change. [CNN]


¶ “Greta Thunberg: ‘Nothing Has Been Done’ To Tackle The Climate Crisis” • Greta Thunberg took the stage at the World Economic Forum just hours before President Donald Trump’s appearance to admonish world leaders for doing “basically nothing” to reduce carbon emissions despite evidence of a looming climate catastrophe. [CNN]

Greta Thunberg (Michael Probst | AP)

¶ “Australia Fires: Malcolm Turnbull Accuses Scott Morrison Of ‘Misleading’ Nation” • Australian PM Scott Morrison has been accused of lacking leadership during the bushfire crisis by the man he replaced after a party room coup. Malcolm Turnbull, who was deposed in 2018, told the BBC that Mr Morrison had misled the country on global warming. [BBC]

¶ “Germany’s 50Hertz Power Grid Carried Record 60% Renewable Energy In 2019” • In Germany, 60% of the power carried by grid firm 50Hertz last year came from renewable sources, a record high, CEO Stefan Kapferer told Reuters. He said this shows the German goal of 65% by 2030 can be handled by transmission networks. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Renewable energy

¶ “SA Energy Minister Praises Bonney Big Battery” • Dan van Holst Pellekaan, South Australia’s Minister for Energy and Mining, is pretty excited about Infigen Energy’s Lake Bonney big battery. The 25-MW / 52-MWh lithium-ion battery system of Tesla Powerpacks is part of the Lake Bonney Wind Farm, near Millicent in South Australia. [Solar Quotes]

¶ “Scotland To Reach This Year 100% Renewable Energy Goal” • Scotland has been increasing the percentage of electricity it gets from renewables rapidly. It is to achieve a 100% renewables-based energy matrix this year, which would add Scotland to the list of other countries that achieved the same goal, such as the Congo, Iceland, and Paraguay. [ZME Science]

Wind farm in Scotland (Credit: Wikipedia Commons)

¶ “France Could Shut Next Two Nuclear Reactors Sooner Than Expected” • France could shut down two nuclear reactors in 2025 and 2026 if market conditions are right, earlier than expected, a government consultation document showed. It plans to close 14 reactors by 2035 as it reduces the amount of electricity it gets from nuclear power. [Devdiscourse]


¶ “People still want plastic bottles, says Coca-Cola” • Coca-Cola will not ditch single-use plastic bottles because consumers still want them, the firm’s head of sustainability has told the BBC. Customers like them because they reseal and are lightweight, said Bea Perez. The firm is one of the biggest producers of plastic waste but has pledged to recycle. [BBC]

Coca-cola’s head of sustainability Bea Perez (Getty Images)

¶ “WSJ Takes A Victory Lap For Elon Musk, Tesla” • Elon Musk has a track record of being late. But Tesla gets things done on time. Less than a year after construction began, the Shanghai Gigafactory is already churning out over 1,000 Model 3s per week. The Wall Street Journal’s John  Stoll says, “Tesla’s win is a win for the disruptor.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tesla Cuts Prices Of Solar Systems To Counter Drop In Federal Rebate” • Ringing in 2020 brought many changes to the US solar industry, including a drop in the US federal incentive for residential solar systems. The tax credit fell from 30% of the solar system cost to 26% effective January 1st, 2020. Tesla responded by reducing prices. [CleanTechnica]

Solar installation (Image courtesy: Tesla)

¶ “A Trump Administration Ruling Could Squash Maryland’s Renewable Energy Efforts, Regulators Say In Appeal” • The Maryland Public Service Commission asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to reconsider a decision that effectively raises the cost of renewable energy that receives state subsidies, so fossil fuels can compete. [Baltimore Sun]

¶ “Does Illinois Have The Energy To Opt Out Of FERC?” • The ruling by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to support fossil fuels could lead to spikes in energy bills. Illinois’ Citizens Utility Board, environmental groups, and legislators are putting forward a multifaceted package that includes a provision to opt out of FERC. [WTTW News]

Navajo coal-burning power station (Credit: Alan Stark | Flickr)

¶ “Proposed 2.2-GW Storage Project Plans To Use Navajo Coal Station Power-Lines” • A proposal for a 2.2-GW pumped hydro facility in Arizona moved a step closer to reality last week, as FERC accepted its application for a preliminary permit. The $3.6 billion project would rely on the transmission lines of the retired Navajo coal-burning generating station. [Utility Dive]

¶ “Bank Of America Reaches Green Power Goal” • Bank of America has met its 100% renewable energy target one year ahead of schedule. The bank said it had reached the renewables target through on-site solar capability at many facilities, power purchase agreements for wind and solar energy, and purchase of renewable energy credits. [reNEWS]

Have an unqualifiedly triumphant day.

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